Digital Preservation 2023 - Call for Proposals


Conference Theme: Communities of Time and Place

Communities are at the heart of digital stewardship work, and they underpin all of the work that is performed. Cooperation, collaboration, and the thought of work situated within a community context resonates with many practitioners, indeed, complex and varied professional communities are eventually required for scalable digital preservation. Likewise, service for myriad communities provides impetus for the institutional missions and collection policies which inform digital preservation. Communities emerge from specific events that require urgent attention and collaboration, and communities engage in collective sense-making to develop a shared understanding of events. All of these types of communities can be dynamic, transient, and ever-shifting. All are firmly rooted to both time and place.

Similar systems of collective memory maintenance already exist. Conservation, historic preservation, restoration, and related systems of reconstruction provide a lineage for the activity of digital preservation. One distinction, however, can mean the difference between persistence and neglect – tangibility. Decay, abandonment, loss, and rot are real world experiences. Evidence of these experiences can lead communities to muster action and resources to support the persistence of memory and maintenance of evidence. Digital forensics, metadata, and critical evaluation can expose some of the gaps in collectively shared digital records, but communities require additional structures to provide evidence for facts, forge emotional connections, and stimulate imagination. What do these structures look like? How do we expose through documentation or description the latent and patent neglect of digital projects, websites, or platforms? What evidence will inform communities about the sea changes in industry and culture? How do we carry forward the fact or memory of networks of connectivity - or of communities bound by time and/or place?

The NDSA invites proposals for Digital Preservation 2023: Communities of Time and Place (#DigiPres23).

Please note that proposals do not have to adhere to our conference theme to be considered, but we especially encourage proposals that attempt to engage with the following topics:


  • How can we best center the needs of the communities we serve, as we negotiate and work within the professional digital preservation community?
  • How do we adequately decolonize our professional practices? How do participatory archival practices enhance or complicate digital stewardship work?
  • What are some ways we can support community activism? How can indigenous knowledge protocols best be honored and adhered to in digital stewardship work?
  • How can cultural heritage institutions build better collaborative structures relating to digital preservation practices? Can we build collaborative structures that are more inclusive of lesser resourced organizations? How can the professional community better empower front-line practitioners?


  • Does digital preservation and practice exist at odds to ecosystem balance? How can/should digital preservation practitioners show up within communities and practices that are inherently non-digital?
  • What are some of the hidden ramifications of the shift from on-premise based storage to the cloud? How can we best encourage “triple bottom line sustainability” in communities we are embedded in?
  • How can digital stewards effectively collaborate with creators and curators on selection processes, and help them to become comfortable with the concept of loss?
  • How do we draw on thousands of years of human experience to develop and maintain knowledge of damaged environments?


  • How do we maintain individual or marginalized stories while finding our way through such an abundance of data?
  • How can we draw on current and past maintenance practices to prepare for the potential deluge of artificially generated information? What are the technological and social challenges to the preservation of VR and AR?
  • As imperfect as traditional systems of memory maintenance may be, they forged connections for care and maintenance, they inspired and elevated, and they offered routes to understanding a particular time and place. How can we cultivate the persistence of memory through digital preservation?

Submission Information

Submission length and format Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

  • 60-minute Workshops or Tutorials: Hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts.
  • 45-minute Working Group Meetings: NDSA working and interest group chairs are invited to propose group meetings or targeted collaboration sessions.
  • 45-minute Panels: Panels with 3-4 speakers on a shared topic, and an emphasis on discussion. In line with the rest of the programming, strong preference will be given to panels that are fully inclusive and reflect a wide range of expression and identity.
  • 10-minute Talks/Demos: Individual or shared presentations or demonstrations on a given topic.
  • 10-minute Digital Preservation Services Showcase Presentations: Vendors and service providers are invited to submit proposals for 10 minute presentations providing updates on platforms, services, tools, development work, and research. Individuals working for vendors or service providers are welcome to submit proposals in other categories, although those proposals should be focused on research questions and direct collaboration within the community.
  • 2-minute Lightning Talks: Share your ideas and/or projects in a lightning talk of six slides, in 2 minutes.
  • Posters: Posters provide the opportunity to share details on case studies, works in progress, and research projects. We especially encourage submissions from students, new professionals, first-time presenters, and those from allied professions. Posters will be displayed during the conference reception. Guidelines for poster sizes will be provided on acceptance.

If you’re interested in presenting on a particular topic and you’re looking for co-presenters, try using our 2023 CLIR Events Unofficial Program Sessions and Connections for connecting with other prospective presenters. Note that the Program Committee and CLIR+DLF Staff do not monitor the document and it is not part of the official submission process.

Submission Requirements:

  • Proposal title
  • Submission format
  • First and last names, organizational affiliations, and email addresses for all authors / presenters
  • Abstract (50 words max)
  • Proposal (250 words, panels and workshops: up to 500 words. Workshop proposals should provide details on technology needs and workshop outcomes.)
  • Five keywords for your proposal
  • All submissions are under a CC-BY 4.0 license, which allows for sharing and adaptation of content but which requires appropriate credit and an indication of any changes made by others. Presenters must agree to share their work under this license in the submission form.

Evaluation Criteria: All submissions will be peer-reviewed by NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2023 Program Committee. The DigiPres Program Committee will give strong preference to programming that is fully inclusive and reflects a wide range of expression and identity. When evaluating proposals, the Program Committee will:

  • Consider the contribution of the submission to the overall conference program
  • Recommend the proposal on a scale of 1-5 whether to reject or accept the proposal, and
  • Rate their familiarity on a scale of 1-5 (1 being completely new, 5 being very familiar).
  • They may also recommend the proposal for a shorter format. Broader community input will also be solicited through an open community voting process, which will inform the Planning Committee’s final decisions.

The Call for Proposals closed on May 1, 2023.

Presenters will be notified of their acceptance in June. Presenters will receive support in the form of tutorials, resources, and individual assistance.

Note: All conference attendees are expected to abide by the DLF’s Code of Conduct, and proposals should be submitted in the spirit of NDSA’s Values and Principles.

Note: For the members of our community who are unable to join us for this fully in-person event in St. Louis, please stay tuned for future information on alternative ways to engage and participate at a later time.

Funding Support

DPOE-N is pleased to offer funding support for citizens and residents of the United States of America to attend NDSA Digital Preservation 2023 in St. Louis. Funding can be used to cover registration costs and associated travel expenses.

Applications for funding from new and emerging professionals and those whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be prioritized. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

For more information and to submit an application for funding, please visit the Professional Development Funding webpage. If you have any questions, please email Natalie Baur, Program Director, at


Feel free to reach out to and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

About the NDSA and Digital Preservation 2023

The NDSA is a consortium of over 275 organizations committed to the long-term preservation and stewardship of digital information and cultural heritage. Digital Preservation is the major meeting and conference of the NDSA. Open to members and non-members alike, it highlights the theory and practice of digital stewardship and preservation, data curation, the digital object lifecycle, and related issues.

Digital Preservation 2023 (#DigiPres23) is held in partnership with NDSA’s host organization, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). Separate calls are being issued for CLIR’s 2023 events, the 2023 DLF Forum (November 13-15) and associated workshop series Learn@DLF (November 12). CLIR, DLF, and NDSA strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and adheres to DLF’s Code of Conduct.